Surrounded by unique women, Vanessa Alberts, Sweat & Butter Co-Founder and Health Coach, sat warmly with a soft glow on her cheeks in the back of The Coffee Tree Roasters. As we waited for the free Self-Love Workshop to begin, I wondered what it was all about.

It was not long until I found out. Ten women formed a circle, staring down at an empty sheet of paper disguised by a printed image of a cloud. Alberts, with bright eyes and a wide smile, ignited a conversation on self-love by lifting all boundaries and revealing her past and present. So, now it’s our turn, right?

The warm air became thicker. Glancing around the room, the group fiddled with their pens. Alberts gave us our first exercise — to answer these three questions:

In what ways do you lack self-love?
How does it impact your daily life overall?
How would life be different if you had abundant self-love?

Kristen Boscarino, a client of Alberts’ who provides an enthusiastic success story for Sweat & Butter, spoke first to cut through the tension in the room. The more each woman revealed about herself, the more the conversation opened up. Eventually, it was revealed that we appreciate our friends, family, and husbands the most.

I learned that, while it’s easy to recognize where or how to improve our lives, what we lack is balance. But how do we find it?

For Sweat & Butter, food is not the central idea. As health coaches, Alberts and Boscarino focus on helping clients redefine their goals. Very often, goals are negative feelings masked by positive words. “If losing weight was your goal, you would lose it,” says Alberts.

For example, hen you reach a goal to lose weight, what will become available to you? In reality, those feelings and opportunities that you hope to achieve are the real goals. Here is a tip to better understand these root feelings: ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” six times.

“[When I do that], I don’t feel like I’m on a diet, or that I am depriving myself of food,” Boscarino explains. She says that when you focus on primary foods, you begin to nourish your soul.

So, why host free self-love workshops to the public? Says Alberts, “There is so much misinformation in the media about dieting. Public education is important to break through the dieting mess.”

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